The Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge (GDPPC or the Challenge) is an international educational initiative and scholarship competition that offers undergraduate students of all academic disciplines from all over the world an opportunity to explore issues of global importance from different points of view. For the past two years, GDPPC has counted among its participants students from more than 110 countries. Each year, GDPPC focuses on a theme of global importance that touches on public policy and youth advocacy.

Aims of the Challenge

GDPPC aims to attract a wide range of university students into the realm of policy advocacy by enabling participants to develop their capacity to critically engage with issues of public policy that affect them and their communities. The programme aims to help participants recognise shared responsibilities and to also develop, support and advocate for policies which benefit not only themselves but the wider society as well. GDPPC challenges participants to critically consider their locality from a global perspective and reflect on policy questions that present serious international challenges. By bringing together undergraduates of all academic disciplines from all over the world, the programme endeavors to make a serious contribution to public policy discourse and at the same time identify and further support future policy champions from among its alumni.

Eligibility and tasks

Any undergraduate or recent graduate* studying any subject anywhere in the world can participate in GDPPC by submitting a policy memorandum during Task One, the first elimination round of the Challenge. Up to 200 participants with the highest scores from Task One will then participate in Task Two, which requires participants to submit a policy brief. Up to 50 participants with the highest scores from Task Two will then qualify for the Budapest Forum. The cost of travel and accommodation for the Forum will be paid for by the Organisers.

There is no age limit for participation but all participants must be at least 18 years of age on 1 March in the year of the Budapest Forum. Participants who have attended the Budapest Forum in the past are not eligible to participate in the future rounds of GDPPC.

Budapest Forum

In Budapest, participants will engage in multilateral dialogue sessions with expert speakers and youth advocacy leaders, attend workshops to develop their public speaking and advocacy skills as well as compete in progressive stages for up to five US$ 10,000 scholarship awards. During the Semifinals, all participants will be asked to present their Task Two policy brief in front of a panel of judges. Up to 12 semifinalists with the highest combined score (policy brief and presentation score) from the Semifinals will participate in the Grand Finals. During the Grand Finals, finalists compete in two events: Team debate and extemporaneous speech. The team debate component requires participants to debate in teams of two for or against a given motion related to the theme of the competition. The extemporaneous speech component requires participants to prepare an impromptu speech in response to a given topic related to the theme of the competition. Both components require participants to defend their position in a Q&A session before a panel of judges.

Up to 5 finalists with the highest combined score from the Grand Finals will receive a scholarship of up to US$10,000 payable to a graduate program of their choice. Winners may also make the money payable to a non-profit institution where they want to intern or work. The graduate program and non-profit should be related to the field of public policy.



Submission deadline


Task 1
Policy Memorandum

July 2013

30 October 2013

Open to all

Task 2
Policy Brief

December 2013

28 February 2014

Up to 200

Grand Finals
Budapest Forum

April 2014

Budapest Forum, Central
European University,
Budapest, Hungary, 23-27 June 2014

Up to 50, with up to 5

*See Rules and conditions for the Challenge here: http://gdppc.idebate.org/legal/rules